It’s not uncommon for humans to set the sky metaphorically ablaze in celebration of big holidays or events. Who doesn’t love a fireworks display? Your dogs, for one. Typically, the enthusiasm for pyrotechnic displays does not transfer to our furry companions.

So, why are dogs so afraid of fireworks? How can you help your dog when there are fireworks? Let’s explore why dogs are afraid of fireworks together.

Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet


  1. Why Are Dogs Afraid of Fireworks
  2. What Are the Dog Anxiety Symptoms Associated with Fireworks
  3. How Do You Calm Your Dog When There Are Fireworks
  4. FAQs
  5. Final Thoughts

Why Are Dogs Afraid of Fireworks

To fully appreciate how your dog experiences fireworks, we need to try to experience things from a canine perspective, taking into account their instincts and unique senses.

Senses: Your dog has an incredible sense of hearing. What seems loud to us is simply overwhelming for your dog (check out the research here).

Your dog has innate survival instincts. Unexpected noises can trigger in your dog the need to either fight or flee. Because fireworks do not have a clear, defined source, your dog will want to run and hide.

Memory: If your dog has a bad memory related to a loud noise, future loud noises can cause distress.

Dr. Judy Morgan, DVM, explains on the American Kennel Club website, “It can be the smell. It can be the noise and the flashes of light.”

What Are the Dog Anxiety Symptoms Associated with Fireworks

Anxiety in dogs can present with a variety of symptoms. Knowing what to look for can help you gauge your dog’s level of stress.

Pacing and restlessness: Your dog will seem as though they can’t get comfortable and will be constantly shifting positions.

Drooling and panting: Overheating or extreme exertion can also cause these symptoms in your dog.

Trembling and shaking: These are clear indications of distress. Pull-back or lowered ears, as well as a tail-down posture, are common occurrences.

Hiding or trying to escape: Your dog will seek a safe hiding place. They typically hide behind or beneath furniture, or they might attempt to flee the house and the noise.

Whining and barking: Some sounds your dog makes indicate distress. Think whining, whimpering and barking.

Being destructive: Your dog may become distressed and exhibit destructive behavior, including aggressively scratching at doors or floors.

If you suspect your dog may be anxious while you're away, consider investing in a Petcube Cam to check in on your pup remotely while you're away.

Read more: Independence Day Pet Safety Checklist

How Do You Calm Your Dog When There Are Fireworks

Your best canine pal will be grateful that you’ve read this list and prepared accordingly.

Create a safe retreat: Ensure your dog has a quiet, cozy nook to retreat to when they feel unsafe. Make it comfy with pillows, their favorite toys, and something that smells like you.

Use calming aids: Look into purchasing calming aids, like pheromone diffusers and anxiety-relief collars, to ease your dog’s distress.

Mask the sounds: To help reduce the impact of those sudden bangs, use TV, music, or even white noise to mask the sounds of the fireworks.

Keep calm: Your dog can sense your emotions, and if you’re getting anxious, your dog will pick that up. Try to stay calm to reassure your doggo.

Keep them company: When your dog is distressed, try to divert their attention away from the fireworks by playing with them, offering them toys, or giving them treats.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our dogs can still become extremely distressed, potentially injuring themselves in the process. If your dog requires emergency medical care, you’ll be glad to have Petcube’s Emergency Fund on your side to help you manage the costs of any emergency treatment, not to mention 24/7 access to an online vet for advice and support.


What percentage of dogs are scared of fireworks?

Around 40% of dogs suffer with noise phobia, with fireworks being an extremely common trigger.

Do fireworks hurt dogs’ ears?

Because a dog’s hearing is so much more snesitive than ours, loud fireworks can cause discomfort and pain in dogs.

What medication can I give my dog for fireworks anxiety?

When it comes to giving your dog medication, it’s essential to consult with your vet first. If your vet sees fit, they may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or natural supplements.

Final Thoughts

A fireworks display is loads of fun for us, but for our furry companions, it can be a total nightmare. Understanding the impact of fireworks on your dog and equipping yourself with useful tips and tricks can significantly lessen their trauma.

Was this article helpful?

Help us make our articles even better

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback